National Skills Academy for Food & Drink celebrates 10 years at the heart of the industry

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - 10:12

It’s hard to imagine life before the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink because for the last decade they’ve worked tirelessly on behalf of the whole sector to fill its skills gaps and strengthen the UK’s position as a leader in food and drink manufacturing.

Now the organisation celebrates 10 years of bringing together world-class manufacturers with the UK’s best training providers. They’ve helped to inspire the next generation, equipping tomorrow’s workforce with the practical skills and knowhow needed to bring a new level of certainty to the industry’s uncertain future.

A lot has happened since they opened their doors back in 2007. Today, no less than eight of the UK’s top 10 food businesses are Business Members of the Academy. They represent a significant community who prioritise skills and workforce talent as the main driver of productivity, growth and commercial success.

They’ve been at the heart of helping the industry set robust new standards for Apprenticeships. New employer-led Industry Approved Apprenticeships Programmes (IAAPs) have added to the rigour to on-the-job training and study, ensuring anyone completing an Apprenticeship has all the industry-defined skills, knowledge and behaviours they need in their role.

They’ve launched Tasty Careers: the industry’s free information and recruitment website – combining the industry’s definitive guide to career and study choices with live job vacancies, all in one place. And now the first port of call for young people wanting a future in the food & drink industry.

Plus, they’ve also used their experience to support Stakeholders in Scotland, have backed the delivery of the Food and Drink Action Plan for Wales, and maintained exciting innovation in Northern Ireland’s Tasty Careers programme.

Most recently, in July 2016, the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink acquired Occupational Awards Limited (OAL), an awarding organisation owned by the Sector Skills Council for furniture and wood manufacturing. This acquisition will allow them to further support the food and drink industry through the awarding of industry approved qualifications, and focused end-point assessment products and services to support food apprentices. 

Justine Fosh, CEO of NSAFD said “It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole decade since we started on our mission, but when you look at all we’ve achieved and the vital role we now play in the sector, you start to understand the level of hard work that’s been put in by the whole team here at the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink. I’m incredibly proud of the positive impact we’ve had on the industry and of all the individual effort that’s helped us get us where we are today.”